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Five Million Years to Earth (1967)

Quatermass and the Pit (original title)
Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 16 February 1968 (USA)
A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Duncan Lamont ...
Bryan Marshall ...
...
Howell
...
Minister
Grant Taylor ...
Police Sergeant Ellis
Maurice Good ...
Sergeant Cleghorn
Robert Morris ...
Jerry Watson
Sheila Steafel ...
Journalist
...
Sapper West
Hugh Morton ...
Elderly Journalist
Thomas Heathcote ...
Vicar
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Storyline

While digging a new subway line in London, a construction crew discovers first: a skeleton, then what they think is an old World War II German missile. Upon closer examination the "missile" appears to be not of this earth! This movie examines the age old question of how we came to be on this planet. It is surprisingly scary. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All Earth Stands Helpless! Spawned in the depths of outer space -- a monster so horrible, so vicious, so incredible -- even when you see it you won't believe it could be! (U.S. poster) See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Million Years to Earth  »

Box Office

Budget:

£275,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producers requested both orchestral and electronic cues from composer Tristram Cary in order to have a choice of scores to use. He provided around thirty minutes of symphonic music plus electronic pieces (to represent the Martian threat), though much of it was lost during post-production editing and recutting, occasionally being replaced with stock tracks. See more »

Goofs

When Roney & Quatermass enter the "missile" they are both wearing gloves to protect themselves against the cold surface. When they take the arthropod' body out Roney has taken off his gloves. When they pass it over to the soldiers he is wearing gloves again. See more »

Quotes

Professor Bernard Quatermass: These shapes, suggests some sort of... apparatus... instruments...
Col. Breen: Your imagination is running wild
Professor Bernard Quatermass: Isn't yours?
Col. Breen: What?
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Quatermass Experiment (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ultima Ora
(uncredited)
Music by Armando Sciascia
Sparta-Florida Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Sci-Fi horror that will mesmerise and get you thinking!
29 November 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Quatermass and the Pit is one of the finest of Hammer's vast and largely very fine oeuvre. Strangely, however, when you hear people speak of Hammer horror, this film rarely gets a mention, and that's a great injustice as it easily ranks up there with the best of them. The plot follows a group of construction workers that discover a plot of skeletons while extending London's subway station. This immediately attracts the attention of local scientists Mathew Roney and Barbara Judd, and later the man of the title; Dr Quatermass, who end up facing opposition from both the army and the press while trying to investigate the find. Where did the skeletons come from? How did they get there? And what's the meaning behind that bomb in the tunnel? All these questions and more are answered in Quatermass and the Pit.

As you might expect, the film is very camp. The effects are truly ridiculous and very easy to laugh at; but they add to the fun and charm of the movie. The reason why Hammer Horror films succeed is that, despite being unpleasant at times, it's obvious that they were made with a lot of heart, and the good nature that went into making them always shines through. Unlike many horror (or Sci-Fi) films, however, this one actually bothers to pose some interesting questions and really gets you thinking. The normal idea behind alien based Sci-Fi is completely turned on it's head, and it makes for both an enjoyable and interesting, not to mention original movie. It's quite ingenious, in fact; much more so than many recent 'thought-provoking' movies. There is also quite a lot of the trademark British humour in the film, which is always nice to see. It's obvious that the film is meant to be tongue in cheek anyway, but it's always nice to have a few moments of laughter in there. Quatermass and the Pit is directed by Hammer Horror supremo Roy Ward Baker. When people think of Hammer directors, it's often Terrence Fisher that comes out on top; but Baker is by far my favourite. He's delivered the lovely Asylum, the ingenious Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, not to mention The Vampire Lovers; and now this. And that's only the ones that I've seen!

Overall, this is an incredible movie. It's generous mix of horror, Sci-Fi and fantasy is truly refreshing and it makes for an interesting and enjoyable ride. I loved every minute of this film, and it easily ranks as one of the best Hammer Horror's that I've seen. Make sure you don't skip this one.


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